CRTC adopting a new framework for all television news services

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THE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on Thursday announced new measures that will ensure that Canadians can receive a wide range of Canadian television news services and will have the option to subscribe to them à la carte.

“Canadian news services are an important part of our democracy,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. “With the rules we are announcing today, Canadians, as citizens, will have access to the news services that are of interest to them and will therefore have an opportunity to be exposed to a variety of opinions on matters of public concern.”

Among the measures announced, the CRTC is requiring that Canadians be given the option to subscribe to all Canadian news services, either in bundles or à la carte, no later than May 18, 2014.

At a public hearing in the spring of 2013, the CRTC was made aware of the challenges facing all Canadian television news services, and particularly new entrants in this sector. These challenges were the sign of a systemic problem regarding the distribution of Canadian national news services on fair and commercially reasonable terms. The CRTC said it has acted quickly to address these challenges.

Moreover, the CRTC said it is currently consulting Canadians on the future of television through Let’s Talk TV: A Conversation with Canadians. Thursday’s decision in no way restricts the CRTC’s intent to shape the television system into one that meets the needs of Canadians as consumers, creators and citizens and that is adaptable for years to come.